Monday, October 10, 2011

I am Officially a Player, not to be confused with Playa

So over the weekend, I had the most phenomenal opporutnity to attend at Life is Good Playmaker Training.  And I can now proudly say that I am certified in silly, and a playmaker not a play hater.

When my girlfriend told me about her amazing experiences at the training over the summer, she said "YOU HAVE TO GO!"  So with that much enthusiasm and energy I just had oblige.  And I am so happy I did.

Life is Good Kids Foundation is the culmination of The Project Joy's mission with Life is Good support to help children overcome life threatening challenges.  Project Joy's background was the idea that children who experience trauma need to learn to play again so they can become healthy and joyful members of society.  They train people to help children play and heal.  But they do it in a way that is most effective, they teach you to be playful.  Because you can't teach what you don't have.

I spent the weekend with a bunch of adults, playing.  Using parachutes.  Throwing yarn balls.  Playing musical chairs.  And it was so much fun.  In fact, I realized I really hadn't been my playful self in a long time.  Don't get me wrong, I play with my children.  I play with other's children.  But I forgot the importance of being playful and being in the moment.  If you are not 100% in the moment, thinking about what you have to do later, and what you did in the morning, then you miss what you are doing right now.  And kids know when you are not 'with' them.  So you can't build trust and relationships.  And if you can't do that, then those kids won't be able to be healthy social beings.

Playfulness is not rocket science.  It doesn't mean you have to wear a rainbow wig, dancing and singing (though it might help).  It just means that you have to have joy, be socially connected, have a sense of internal control, and be actively engaged.  It's not the stuff that makes it play.  It's all in the approach.

I know I have had a truly life changing moment that not only will make me a better therapist, but a better wife, mother, and friend.  So find your inner player, and bring it out.  Enjoy the moments.  Like Brad Paisley said, "Live for the little moments."  And if you would like to be a part of the Playmaker Effect, contact the Life is Good Foundation and find a training near you.

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